Psychedelics are substances (natural or laboratory made) which cause profound changes in a one’s perceptions of reality. While under the influence of hallucinogens, users might hallcuniate visually and auditorily.

This is a commonly used substance with well known effects, but that does not guarantee the substance will be safe. The safety profile has been established based on usage data commonly reported by others.

Disclaimer: Psychedelic drugs offer some of the most powerful and intense psychological experiences. Additionally these substances are illegal in many places. We understand that even though these substances are illegal, their use occurs frequently. We do not condone breaking of the law. By providing accurate information about these substances, we encourage the user to make responsible decisions and practice harm reduction.

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Description

MDA Also known as:

A stimulant and empathogen. Similar to MDMA but typically produces more visuals than MDMA. Known to be more neurotoxic than MDMA, and is a minor metabolite of MDMA. Duration and onset similar to MDMA. The common Marquis reagent test cannot differentiate MDA and MDMA.

Summary

It produces long-lived entactogenic, stimulant and mild psychedelic effects that include stimulation, anxiety suppression, enhanced feelings of empathy, affection, and sociability, and euphoria when administered. MDA was first synthesized in 1910 but its psychoactive effects were not discovered until in 1930. It was used in animal and human trials between 1939 and 1941 and from 1949 to 1957.

More than 500 human subjects were given MDA in an investigation of its potential use as either an antidepressant or anorectic. By 1958, it was successfully patented as a cough suppresant and ataractic. By 1961 it was patented as an anorectic under the trade name “Amphedoxamine”.

Contemporary reports suggest that MDA emerged as a recreational drug towards the end of 1967, meaning its use predates its more widely used relative MDMA (Ecstasy). As with MDMA, MDA is thought to act primarily as a serotonin-norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor and releasing agent. However, MDA is significantly more potent by weight and subjective intensity relative to MDMA.

It also has a notably longer duration (six to eight hours instead of three to five) and produces more traditional serotonergic psychedelic effects (such as visual distortions) along with appreciably higher activity on dopamine, which is also believed to be responsible for the greater degree of neurotoxicity it produces. Today, possession of MDA is illegal in most countries, although some limited exceptions exist for scientific and medical research.

History

Mannish and W. Jacobson in 1910. However, its psychoactive effects were not discovered until the self-experiments of Gordon Alles in July 1930.

Alles would later license the drug to Smith, Kline & French. The first animal tests occurred in 1939, followed by human trials in 1941 that explored it as a possible therapy for Parkinson’s disease. From 1949 to 1957, more than 500 human subjects were given MDA in an investigation of its potential use as an antidepressant and anorectic by Smith, Kline & French. The United States Army also experimented with the drug, code-named EA-1298, while working to develop a truth drug or incapacitating agent.

A man named Harold Blauer died in January 1953 after being intravenously injected with 450 mg of the drug. MDA was eventually patented as a cough suppressant by H. D. Brown in 1958, as an ataractic by Smith, Kline & French in 1960, and as an anorectic under the trade name “Amphedoxamine” in 1961.

MDA began to appear on the recreational drug scene around 1967. In early 1968, the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control reported the seizure of over 1.4 kilograms of MDA and 11 kilograms of precursors from a clandestine laboratory in New York. Several researchers, including Claudio Naranjo and Richard Yensen, have explored utilizing MDA in the field of psychotherapy. In 2010, Matthew Baggott and colleagues studied the ability of MDA to invoke mystical experiences and alter vision in healthy volunteers.

Chemistry

MDA

MDA

Molecules of the amphetamine class contain a phenethylamine core featuring a phenyl ring bound to an amino (NH2) group through an ethyl chain with an additional methyl substitution at Rα.

MDA also contains substitutions at R3 and R4 of the phenyl ring with oxygen groups.

These oxygen groups are incorporated into a methylenedioxy ring through a methylene chain.

MDA shares this methylenedioxy ring with MDMA, MDAI and more obscure variants like MDEA or MMDA.

Common Name3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine
Systematic name
FormulaC_{10}H_{13}NO_{2}
SMILESCC(Cc1ccc2c(c1)OCO2)N
Std. InChiInChI=1S/C10H13NO2/c1-7(11)4-8-2-3-9-10(5-8)13-6-12-9/h2-3,5,7H,4,6,11H2,1H3
Std. InChiKeyNGBBVGZWCFBOGO-UHFFFAOYSA-N
Avg. Mass179.2157 Da
Molecular Weight179.2157
Monoisotopic Mass179.094635 Da
Nominal Mass179
ChemSpider ID1555

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Dose Chart

Oral
Light30-40mg
Common40-80mg
Strong80-120mg
Heavy120mg+

Duration Chart

MDA Duration Data
Onset20-90 minutes
Duration2-5 hours
After-effects1-12 hours

Interactions

Caution

  1. Mushrooms
    • Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences
  2. LSD
    • Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences
  3. DMT
    • Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences
  4. Mescaline
    • The focus and anxiety caused by stimulants is magnified by psychedelics and results in an increased risk of thought loops
  5. 2C-x
    • The anxiogenic and focusing effects of stimulants increase the chance of unpleasant thought loops. The combination is generally uneccessary because of the stimulating effects of psychedelics. Combination of the stimulating effects may be uncomfortable.
  6. Cannabis
    • Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences
  7. Ketamine
    • No unexpected interactions, though likely to increase blood pressure but not an issue with sensible doses. Moving around on high doses of this combination may be ill advised due to risk of physical injury.
  8. MXE
    • Risk of tachycardia, hypertension, and manic states
  9. Cocaine
    • This combination of stimulants will increase strain on the heart. It is not generally worth it as cocaine has a mild blocking effect on dopamine releasers like amphetamine
  10. Caffeine
    • This combination of stimulants is not generally necessary and may increase strain on the heart, as well as potentially causing anxiety and greater physical discomfort.
  11. Alcohol
    • Drinking on stimulants is risky because the sedative effects of the alcohol are reduced, and these are what the body uses to gauge drunkenness. This typically leads to excessive drinking with greatly reduced inhibitions, high risk of liver damage and increased dehydration. They will also allow you to drink past a point where you might normally pass out, increasing the risk. If you do decide to do this then you should set a limit of how much you will drink each hour and stick to it, bearing in mind that you will feel the alcohol and the stimulant less. Extended release formulations may severely impede sleep, further worsening the hangover.
  12. GHB/GBL
    • Stimulants increase respiration rate allowing a higher dose of sedatives. If the stimulant wears off first then the opiate may overcome the patient and cause respiratory arrest.
  13. Opioids
    • Stimulants increase respiration rate allowing a higher dose of opiates. If the stimulant wears off first then the opiate may overcome the patient and cause respiratory arrest.

Dangerous

  1. DOx
    • The combined stimulating effects of the two can lead to an uncomfortable body-load, while the focusing effects of amphetamine can easily lead to thought loops. Coming down from amphetamines while the DOx is still active can be quite anxiogenic.
  2. NBOMes
    • Amphetamines and NBOMes both provide considerable stimulation. When combined they can result in tachycardia, hypertension, vasoconstriction and in extreme cases heart failure. The anxiogenic and focusing effects of stimulants are also not good in combination with psychedelics as they can lead to unpleasant thought loops. NBOMes are known to cause seizures and stimulants can increase this risk.
  3. 2C-T-x
    • Stimulants increase anxiety levels and the risk of thought loops which can lead to negative experiences. In extreme cases, they can result in severe vasoconstriction, tachycardia, hypertension, and in extreme cases heart failure.
  4. 5-MeO-xxT
    • The anxiogenic and focusing effects of stimulants increase the chance of unpleasant thought loops. The combination is generally unnecessary because of the stimulating effects of psychedelics.
  5. DXM
    • Both substances raise heart rate, in extreme cases, panic attacks caused by these drugs have led to more serious heart issues.
  6. PCP
    • This combination can easily lead to hypermanic states

Low Synergy

  1. Benzodiazepines
    • Both can dull each other's effects, so if one wears off before the other it's possible to overdose due to the lack of counteraction

No Synergy

  1. SSRIs

High Synergy

  1. N2O
  2. MDMA
    • Amphetamines increase the neurotoxic effects of MDMA

Legal Status

Internationally, MDA is part of the the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 as a Schedule I substance.

  • Australia: MDA is a controlled substance.
  • Austria: MDA is illegal to possess, produce and sell under the SMG (Suchtmittelgesetz Österreich).
  • Canada: MDA is listed on the CSDA in Schedule I.
  • Germany: MDA is controlled under Anlage I BtMG (Narcotics Act, Schedule I) as of September 1, 1984. It is illegal to manufacture, possess, import, export, buy, sell, procure or dispense it without a license.
  • Russia: MDA is classed as a Schedule I prohibited substance.
  • Switzerland: Possession, production and sale is illegal.
  • The Netherlands: MDMA is illegal to possess, produce and sell in the Netherlands
  • United Kingdom: MDA is a class A drug.
  • United States: MDA is a Schedule I drug.
  • Sources

    References

    1. Über Oxyphenyl-alkylamine und Dioxyphenyl-alkylamine | http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cber.19100430126/abstract;jsessionid=CF00D19D5BF8D9E4343735C6B27E57AE.f03t03
    2. Schoenfeld, Eugene. "Hippocrates". Berkeley Barb November 24-30, 1967: 7 (Independent Voices) | http://voices.revealdigital.com/cgi-bin/independentvoices?a=d&d=BFBJFGD19671124.1.7
    3. Über Oxyphenyl-alkylamine und Dioxyphenyl-alkylamine | http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cber.19100430126/abstract;jsessionid=CF00D19D5BF8D9E4343735C6B27E57AE.f03t03
    4. "Methylenedioxy Amphetamine (MDA)." Microgram. Bureau of Drug Abuse Control. Feb 1968. 1(5):4-5 (Erowid.org) | https://erowid.org/library/periodicals/microgram/microgram_1968_02_v01n05.pdf
    5. Evaluation of 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an Adjunct to Psychotherapy | http://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/137100
    6. MDA-assisted psychotherapy with neurotic outpatients: a pilot study (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/972325
    7. Investigating the Mechanisms of Hallucinogen-Induced Visions Using 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA): A Randomized Controlled Trial in Humans | http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0014074
    8. Trace amine-associated receptor 1 is a stereoselective binding site for compounds in the amphetamine class (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22037049
    9. Endogenous hallucinogens as ligands of the trace amine receptors: a possible role in sensory perception (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18805646
    10. Serotonin-dopamine Interaction: Experimental Evidence and Therapeutic Relevance | http://books.google.com/books?id=mPkKtA15KM8C&pg=PA294
    11. Serotonergic drugs and valvular heart disease (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19505264
    12. Effect of the R(-) and S( ) isomers of MDA and MDMA on phosphatidyl inositol turnover in cultured cells expressing 5-HT2A or 5-HT2C receptors (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7824160
    13. Psychedelics and the human receptorome (PubMed.gov / NCBI) | https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20126400
    14. Johnson, M. P., Hoffman, A. J., & Nichols, D. E. (1986). Effects of enantiomers of MDA, MDMA and related analogues on [3H]serotonin and [3H]dopamine release from superfused rat brain slices. European Journal of Pharmacology, 132(2–3), 269–276. https://doi.org/10.1016/0014-2999(86)90615-1
    15. The History Channel documented details of his death here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySw-0uY4CUA See minute 2:38 onward.
    16. http://www.drogen-info-berlin.de/htm/mda.html
    17. Talaie, H., Panahandeh, R., Fayaznouri, M. R., Asadi, Z., & Abdollahi, M. (2009). Dose-independent occurrence of seizure with tramadol. Journal of Medical Toxicology, 5(2), 63-67. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03161089
    18. Gillman, P. K. (2005). Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, opioid analgesics and serotonin toxicity. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 95(4), 434-441. https://doi.org/10.1093/bja/aei210
    19. "CONVENTION ON PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES 1971" (PDF). United Nations. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
    20. "Criminal Code Regulations 2019". Office of Parliamentary Counsel. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
    21. "Controlled Drugs and Substances Act - SCHEDULE I". Government of Canada. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
    22. "Erste Verordnung zur Änderung betäubungsmittelrechtlicher Vorschriften" (in German). Bundesanzeiger Verlag. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
    23. "Anlage I BtMG" (in German). Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
    24. "§ 29 BtMG" (in German). Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
    25. Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation | https://www.consultant.ru/cons/cgi/online.cgi?req=doc&base=LAW&n=314201&fld=134&dst=100034,0&rnd=0.41568319511755825#047741519652799347
    26. Verordnung des EDI über die Verzeichnisse der Betäubungsmittel, psychotropen Stoffe, Vorläuferstoffe und Hilfschemikalien | https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classified-compilation/20101220/index.html
    27. https://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0001941/2020-01-01

    Information made possible with:

    1. PsychonautWiki is a community-driven online encyclopedia that aims to document the field of psychonautics in a comprehensive, scientifically-grounded manner.
    2. Erowid is a non-profit educational & harm-reduction resource with 60 thousand pages of online information about psychoactive drugs
    3. PubChem National Center for Bio Informatics
    4. Chemspider is a free chemical structure database providing fast access to over 34 million structures, properties and associated information.
    5. Wikipedia

    Additional APIs were used to construct this information. Thanks to ChemSpider, NCBI, PubChem etc.

    Data is constantly updated so please check back later to see if there is any more available information on this substance.